Posts Tagged ‘ Sidney Crosby ’

Open Letter to John Saunders


While watching ‘The Sports Reporters’, John Saunders, during his segment entitled ‘parting shots’, had a lot to say about the NHL and its handling of Sidney Crosby, as well as the game of hockey as a whole. The minute editorial piece can be seen here, http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=7286389. He urged his audience to respond to his segment, which I felt compelled to do. Here is my response.

John,

Your ‘parting shot’ segment on the November 27th show demonstrated two major problems that ESPN and it’s litany of analysts have. One, no one in Bristol has any real insight to the game of hockey, and two, whenever hockey is talked about there is way too much emphasis placed on changing the game, instead of trying to understand the way it is played. Sidney Crosby came back to the Penguins starting roster this week, and in related news there were 29 other teams that had players who battled for their team. Crosby is one in a number of all-star caliber players to lace them up night in and night out for a league that has a marketing problem. Should the game of hockey have a rules change so that the game gets less physical? No, every player knows that the game of hockey is physical, and has been since they first started to love the sport.

Why bring up Super Mario? He had non-hodgkin’s lymphoma and missed three years. How is that related to a head injury in the slightest? On that note, how is Tom Brady’s knee injury related to any type of head injury? You can protect the QB in football because the QB is not expected to be able to take hits. Hockey players don’t have the luxury to be protected in a bubble. You claim that there was once a double standard to save stars from the onslaught of hits. When was this? For decades the NHL has had one way to deter players from going after stars, enforcers. Gretzky had a slew of them, as did Messier, and every other big name star. They are on the team to protect the star and go after any opposing player who threatens him. And this type of thought process was used in the old NHL, before the rules changed to allow finesse players more room on the ice. This rules change was thought to cut down on big hits, but unfortunately it has caused many players to keep their head down and get rattled more frequently. Big hits are an NHL mainstay, and unless the players get smarter about keeping their heads up during a play they will continue. It’s not something where a rules change needs to occur. It’s a physical game, and if the players aren’t interested in it they can go try their hand at football.

Have you ever actually watched a hockey game that did not feature a player named Crosby or Ovechkin? With names like Stamkos, Toews, Giroux, Iginla, Tavares, the Sedin twins, etc. the NHL talent pool is deep, and none of them are complaining about being hit while playing. The NHL front office can be blamed for the fact that many of the countries half-hearted hockey fans do not know these players, but your job is to know more than the typical fan. Your job is to try and understand how hockey is played, instead of just pandering to your executives who insist that you say something about Crosby, despite the fact that you truly have no idea what to say.

My services are always available. Trust me, you need them.

Thank you for your time,

Adam